Publications by authors named "Giulia Pitzanti"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Needle-Free Jet Injectors and Nanosuspensions: Exploring the Potential of an Unexpected Pair.

Pharmaceutics 2022 May 19;14(5). Epub 2022 May 19.

Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Sezione di Scienze del Farmaco, CNBS, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy.

Needle-free liquid jet injectors are medical devices used to administer pharmaceutical solutions through the skin. Jet injectors generate a high-speed stream of liquid medication that can puncture the skin and deliver the drug to the underlying tissues. In this work, we investigated the feasibility of using liquid jet injectors to administer nanosuspensions, assessing the impact of the jet injection on their pharmaceutical and physicochemical properties. For this purpose, the model drug diclofenac was used to prepare a set of nanosuspensions, stabilized by poloxamer 188, and equilibrated at different pHs. The hydrodynamic diameter and morphology of the nanocrystals were analyzed before and after the jet injection across porcine skin in vitro, together with the solubility and release kinetics of diclofenac in a simulated subcutaneous environment. The efficacy of the jet injection (i.e., the amount of drug delivered across the skin) was evaluated for the nanosuspension and for a solution, which was used as a control. Finally, the nanosuspension was administered to rats by jet injector, and the plasma profile of diclofenac was evaluated and compared to the one obtained by jet injecting a solution with an equal concentration. The nanosuspension features were maintained after the jet injection in vitro, suggesting that no structural changes occur upon high-speed impact with the skin. Accordingly, in vivo studies demonstrated the feasibility of jet injecting a nanosuspension, reaching relevant plasma concentration of the drug. Overall, needle-free jet injectors proved to be a suitable alternative to conventional syringes for the administration of nanosuspensions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14051085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9144479PMC
May 2022

Stereolithography 3D printed implants: A preliminary investigation as potential local drug delivery systems to the ear.

Int J Pharm 2022 Mar 1;616:121529. Epub 2022 Feb 1.

School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK. Electronic address:

The current study is a preliminary investigation on the use of stereolithography 3D printing technology in the field of personalized medicines and specifically for delivering drugs locally, which can for example usefully be applied to ear infections. The main aim is the development of drug-loaded implants for the treatment of ear diseases, to improve patient compliance and to overcome the limitations of current delivery approaches. Multiple prototypes of implant geometries have been created and printed using a flexible resin containing 0.5% w/v of Levofloxacin. Physicochemical characterization of the printed implants was carried out using a variety of techniques (e.g., microscopic, spectroscopic, and mechanical analysis). Finally, preliminary in vitro tests were performed to evaluate the release profile of Levofloxacin, the prototype implant's stability, and their antimicrobial property. The results obtained show that there is no interaction between the resin and the drug, which is perfectly solubilized in the device. In addition, the results of the mechanical tests show that the material used resists compression without compromising the design itself, and the diffusion test has shown that the drug diffused through the matrix prototype at 50% over 3 weeks. The selected designs showed higher antimicrobial activity on E. coli than on S. aureus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.121529DOI Listing
March 2022

3D bioprinted scaffolds for diabetic wound-healing applications.

Drug Deliv Transl Res 2022 Jan 11. Epub 2022 Jan 11.

School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7BL, UK.

The treatment strategy required for the effective healing of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a complex process that is requiring several combined therapeutic approaches. As a result, there is a significant clinical and economic burden associated in treating DFU. Furthermore, these treatments are often unsuccessful, commonly resulting in lower-limb amputation. The use of drug-loaded scaffolds to treat DFU has previously been investigated using electrospinning and fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing techniques; however, the rapidly evolving field of bioprinting is creating new opportunities for innovation within this research area. In this study, 3D-bioprinted scaffolds with different designs have been fabricated for the delivery of an antibiotic (levoflocixin) to DFU. The scaffolds were fully characterised by a variety of techniques (e.g. SEM, DSC/TGA, FTIR, and mechanical characterisation), demonstrating excellent mechanical properties and providing sustained drug release for 4 weeks. This proof of concept study demonstrates the innovative potential of bioprinting technologies in fabrication of antibiotic scaffolds for the treatment of DFU.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13346-022-01115-8DOI Listing
January 2022

Optimization of Printing Parameters for Digital Light Processing 3D Printing of Hollow Microneedle Arrays.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Nov 2;13(11). Epub 2021 Nov 2.

School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.

3D printing is an emerging technology aiming towards personalized drug delivery, among many other applications. Microneedles (MN) are a viable method for transdermal drug delivery that is becoming more popular for delivery through the skin. However, there is a need for a faster fabrication process with potential for easily exploring different geometries of MNs. In the current study, a digital light processing (DLP) method of 3D printing for fabrication of hollow MN arrays using commercial UV curable resin was proposed. Print quality was optimised by assessing the effect of print angle on needle geometries. Mechanical testing of MN arrays was conducted using a texture analyser. Angled prints were found to produce prints with geometries closer to the CAD designs. Curing times were found to affect the mechanical strength of MNs, with arrays not breaking when subjected to 300 N of force but were bent. Overall, DLP process produced hollow MNs with good mechanical strength and depicts a viable, quick, and efficient method for the fabrication of hollow MN arrays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13111837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8622592PMC
November 2021

3D Printing: an appealing technology for the manufacturing of solid oral dosage forms.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK.

Objectives: The traditional manufacturing methods of solid oral dosage forms (SODFs) are reported to be time-consuming, highly expensive and not tailored to the patient's needs. Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is an innovative emerging technology that can help to overcome these issues. The aim of this review is to describe the most employed 3DP technologies, materials and the state of the art on 3DP SODFs. Characterization techniques of 3DP SODFs, challenges and regulatory issues are also discussed.

Key Findings: The interest in the investigation of the suitability of 3DP as an alternative strategy for the fabrication of SODFs is growing. Different 3DP technologies and starting materials have been investigated for the development of SODFs. Numerous SODFs with complex geometries and composition, and with different release patterns, have been successfully manufactured via 3DP. Despite that, just one 3DP SODF has reached the market.

Summary: 3DP can be a promising alternative to the classical SODFs manufacturing methods. However, numerous technically and regulatory challenges still need to be addressed in order 3DP to be extensively used in the pharmaceutical sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpp/rgab136DOI Listing
September 2021

[email protected] for Skin Delivery of 8-Methoxypsoralen.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2021 05;21(5):2901-2906

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari 09124, Italy.

8-methoxypsoralen is the most common drug in psoralen plus ultraviolet light irradiation therapy for the treatment of severe psoriasis. Despite of the efficacy, its classic oral administration leads to several serious adverse effects. However, the topical psoralen application produces a drug skin accumulation lower than that obtained by oral administration, due to the drug low skin permeability. In this paper, 8-methoxypsoralen loaded Penetration Enhancer-containing Vesicles were prepared using soy phosphatidylcholine and the penetration enhancer Transcutol® (5% or 10%) and characterized in terms of size, polydispersity index, zeta potential and encapsulation efficiency. No statistically significant differences in both size (~135 nm) and encapsulation efficiency (~65%) were found for different Transcutol® concentration. Transdermal delivery study assessed by Franz diffusion cells, showed that the 8-methoxypsoralen mainly accumulated into the stratum corneum. Moreover, after Penetration Enhancer-containing Vesicles application, the drug recovered in this layer is almost double of that delivered by conventional liposomes, while no significant difference was found from the different Transcutol® concentrations. Finally, biocompatibility checked by an MTT assay, demonstrated that the incubation of human keratinocytes for 24 h with 8-methoxypsoralen loaded Penetration Enhancer-containing Vesicles did not significantly reduce cell viability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2021.19047DOI Listing
May 2021

Transcutol P Containing SLNs for Improving 8-Methoxypsoralen Skin Delivery.

Pharmaceutics 2020 Oct 15;12(10). Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Unit of Drug Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy.

Topical psoralens plus ultraviolet A radiation (PUVA) therapy consists in the topical application of 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) followed by the skin irradiation with ultraviolet A radiation. The employment of classical 8-MOP vehicles in topical PUVA therapy is associated with poor skin deposition and weak skin permeability of psoralens, thus requiring frequent drug administration. The aim of the present work was to formulate solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) able to increase the skin permeation of 8-MOP. For this purpose, the penetration enhancer Transcutol P (TRC) was added to the SLN formulation. SLNs were characterized with respect to size, polydispersity index, zeta potential, entrapment efficiency, morphology, stability, and biocompatibility. Finally, 8-MOP skin diffusion and distribution within the skin layers was investigated using Franz cells and newborn pig skin. Freshly prepared nanoparticles showed spherical shape, mean diameters ranging between 120 and 133 nm, a fairly narrow size distribution, highly negative ζ potential values, and high entrapment efficiency. Empty and loaded formulations were almost stable over 30 days. In vitro penetration and permeation studies demonstrated a greater 8-MOP accumulation in each skin layer after SLN TRC 2% and TRC 4% application than that after SLN TRC 0% application. Finally, the results of experiments on 3T3 fibroblasts showed that the incorporation of TRC into SLNs could enhance the cellular uptake of nanoparticles, but it did not increase their cytotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12100973DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602665PMC
October 2020

3D Printing of Pharmaceuticals and Drug Delivery Devices.

Pharmaceutics 2020 Mar 15;12(3). Epub 2020 Mar 15.

School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.

The process of 3D printing (3DP) was patented in 1986; however, the research in the field of 3DP did not become popular until the last decade. There has been an increasing research into the areas of 3DP for medical applications for fabricating prosthetics, bioprinting and pharmaceutics. This novel method allows the manufacture of dosage forms on demand, with modifications in the geometry and size resulting in changes to the release and dosage behaviour of the product. 3DP will allow wider adoption of personalised medicine due to the diversity and simplicity to change the design and dosage of the products, allowing the devices to be designed specific to the individual with the ability to alternate the drugs added to the product. Personalisation also has the potential to decrease the common side effects associated with generic dosage forms. This Special Issue Editorial outlines the current innovative research surrounding the topic of 3DP, focusing on bioprinting and various types of 3DP on applications for drug delivery as well advantages and future directions in this field of research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12030266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7150971PMC
March 2020
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